Comments on New York City--the good and bad

Aug 8th, 2009, 04:14 PM
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Comments on New York City--the good and bad

I've spent the last four days in New York City. I haven't been here since before the World Trade Towers were built, but I have noticed a few changes.

Why are there water towers (cylinder wood and metal structures) on the top of buildings. I haven't seen this in any other city and I've traveled all over Europe.

I was impressed with Macy's wooden escalators. How old are they? One lady at the coat check said the wooden ones (most have been replaced with metal ones) are from the stores opening, around 1903.

When it comes to dining, you can pay what ever you want. I was able to get a three egg omelet with cheese and ham, toast and potatoes for only $5.00. You can also pay $50 for a class of wine if you would rather.

Why aren't there more public bathrooms. Drink wine instead of beer. You will never make it to your destination if you don’t.

They really need more pedestrian areas. Cars are almost everywhere. I appreciated Europe’s pedestrian only areas. New York needs to add more of these areas.

Horn hawking is everywhere. I heard and saw a UPS driver Hauk his horn twice at every intersection.

I would recommend that New York change their Don't Walk signs to a countdown of how many seconds there is left to cross the street. I very quickly learned that if it is flashing Don't Walk, I had time to cross the street. Even the country Turkey, has signs that give the number of seconds one has when crossing the street. A lot of the horn hawking had to do with people trying to cross the street when the cars finally got their green light..

I would recommend "Top of the Rock" instead of the Empire State Building for a view of heights. Cheaper and a great view.

I took the tour out to Liberty and Ellis Island and have to say, this is where the rudest New Yorker's work. I was yelled at for not taking off my plastic watch when walking through the metal detector. The gangway on the boat only allowed two people to walk on at a time, so the employees got on the blow horn and yelled, "take bigger steps." There had to be over 400 people on the boat with 45 live vests (is that to code?). Part of the ceiling fell down on the boat and had to be nailed back up. I was recently in Vancouver and watched the Sea Bus exit 400 people and board 400 people in just three minutes. New York take note.

When I arrived at JFK, I took the Air Train to the Subway and then on to 14th Street in Manhattan. It was cheap but it was a long ride and there were a few times that I thought the train had derailed.

After two days in NYC, I found myself taking the ferry out to Sandy Hook, NJ, and relaxing on the beach.

I did go to one show called Pilobolus, at the Joyce Theater. The show was excellent and there isn’t a bad seat at the theater. The run is over.

Macy’s was packed with shoppers and I like the idea of a Starbucks in the store, but the McDonald’s and cinnamon buns or whatever may be pushing the limit. Do you really want to purchase an item that smells like French fries or cinnamon buns? Also, people walking through Macy’s eating ice cream?

Lord ‘n Taylor were empty but that is where I found some good deals. Men’s floor is on Ten.

I found a private room for $69-$79 at the Hotel Jane (Jane Street near 12th Street) with the shower/bathroom down the hall. I could touch the left and right wall of the room at the same time, but it did have a flat screen television and air-conditioning, fan and elevator operator and was able to get a good night’s sleep.
wally34949 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 04:51 PM
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Good review, Wally.

Did I hear somewhere that part of Times Square is now a pedestrian zone?
Jimingso is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 04:58 PM
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First = there is no such thing as horn "hawking" - it is called "honking". If you want a place with no "horn hawking" you need to visit a place where pedestrians stay in the sidewalk and cars stay in lane (as in someplace with no traffic).

There are water towers on the top of buildings because tall buildings need a water tank on the roof so all apartments get sufficient water pressure. Without that the apartments on upper floors would have no water - or there would have to be giant pumps - using masses of electricity - running all the time.

And yes, if places are crowded and people dawdle along - some one will tell them to move more quickly so as not to gum up the works.

More pedestrian areas might be pleasant - but would make getting around the city extremely difficult. As it is buses and subways are packed to overflowing at rush hour. And trains/buses can't be run any closer together. There are too many people trying to get around the city to allow for large areas with no transit. The only other option is to spend billions of dollars to put in several more subway lines. And since the federal government chooses not to support public transit that won;t happen.

As for restaurants in Macy's - there are several other - including full restaurants in the cellar - since many people come and shop through mealtimes and prefer to have options available.

As for the train from JFK taking a long time - well, the airport isn't near the city. (It's hard to land jumbo jets in the middle of a heavily populated area - so the newer airports are on the outskirts. If you want to be closer land at LaGuardia -- but only on smaller jets.) Or you could have take the LIRR for a few dollars more and made the trip in a much shorter time.

Glad you were able to find a pleasant room at an incredibly inexpensive price - and that there are many food bargains to be had.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 05:13 PM
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If you want better boats to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, ypu'll have to complain to the federal government since it is part of the National Park Service.

Scroll down at this site for an explanation of water towers in NYC--any building above six stories has one, though many are incorporated into the architecture and not as noticeable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_tower
ellenem is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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The water tower just seemed so third world. Does Trump have water towers on his new high rises? Sorry about the honking: Honk Honk. I was in Dublin, Ireland and I never heard a horn honk. Turns out it is a big fine. I heard no one is fining anyone yet in NYC.
wally34949 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 06:09 PM
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There is a small pedestrian area in the Time Square area. Very small. I would recommend that the bicycle taxi's have an area to put bags and suitcases.
wally34949 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 08:37 PM
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The water tower just seemed so third world. Does Trump have water towers on his new high rises? Sorry about the honking: Honk Honk. I was in Dublin, Ireland and I never heard a horn honk. Turns out it is a big fine. I heard no one is fining anyone yet in NYC.

I could care less what sits atop the Donald's buildings. The water towers are part of the NY skyline, that add function, character, and distinction.

There are a few reason why NY does not have countdown "Don't Walk" signs. First jaywalking is a widely reagarded as an Olympic sport in New York, and as professionals, the rules are more sophisticated. Second, the kids try and time their crossings using the countdown, thus defeating the purpose.

So go back to Dublin. There are signs posted all over the city warning of fines for honking, but they are rarely enforeced as far as I can tell. I guess one reason we are the safest large city in America is that cops attend to real crime.

As far as the train ride being long from JFK to 14th Street, I have already petitioned the Mayor and Governor to try and move JFK closer for your next visit. They wrote back. You can either spend $55 for a cab ride or seven bucks for a train ride. The choice is yours.

And please give me the address of your home, so I can come and re-arrange the furniture to my liking.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 03:22 AM
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The train ride was $7.25 and if more people would do it, it would mean less congestion in the city.

I also took the Gray Line tour of Manhattan. One goes north from 47th Street to Harlem and the other one goes south down to Battery Park. At 11:30 in the morning, tour buses had the road almost closed down.

Aduchamp1, you sound like a typical New Yorker.
wally34949 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 03:50 AM
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Wally, I was going to lambaste you for being such a volunteer "consultant", but I'm pretty sure your attack on Aduchamp will make that unnecessary. (Honk, Honk)
gb944 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 04:30 AM
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So, let me get this right...you were in NYC for four days, one of which you spent in New Jersey. And after those three days you were able to come up with such bizarre observations...such as smelling food in Macys...and saying that you didn't hear horn honking in Dublin, well,I did when I was there, so what does that prove?
Maybe you need to look for the positives and enjoy them, rather than such trivial negatives. Everyplace I have visited had pluses and minuses, haven't you noticed the same?
SusieQQ is online now  
Aug 9th, 2009, 05:00 AM
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"Aduchamp1, you sound like a typical New Yorker."
Is that supposed to be a compliment or an insult? I'm not sure!
Regardless, considering that your comments are based on a mere four-day experience in our wonderful city, I wouldn't put too much stock in your observations.
HowardR is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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Wally - the problem with your report is that you left out the truly troublesome aspects of a visit to this town. Here are a few - in case you did not notice them: A dozen or so of world class museums stuffed with all kinds of stuff making it impossible to get a handle in a mere 4 days. Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway theater - making a visitor's selection of something to see a near impossibility. On any given night you might have concerts presented by three major world class orchestras - how do you pick one to go to? Art galleries - Chelsea alone has them stacked up - block after block. And restaurants? OK - maybe you like to eat in Macy's but restaurant mavens will now tell you that some of the best eating in the world is to be found here - but in 4 days - you just don't get a fair shot. Maybe it's easier to stick to the McD in Macy's. And - I could keep pointing out similar problems for the visitor. And horn hawking? Hey - next time you run into George Gershwin - ask him why he has all those auto horns tooting in "An American in Paris".
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Aug 9th, 2009, 06:54 AM
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I thought Wally's original post was worth a smirk but Aduchamp and jroth's responses are PRICELESS!

(Aduchamp, as a native New York, but having lived in California for 36 years, I "taught" my daughter how to jaywalk in Manhattan when she was 7. And she's damn good at it at 22!)
sf7307 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 07:02 AM
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"Why aren't there more public bathrooms."

I thought that's what all the hotels were for.
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Aug 9th, 2009, 07:02 AM
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I am just trying to decide which typical NY'er I was most like, the Sudanese newspaper guy who came here to escape genocide, the Goldman Sachs guy who just got a $10 milllion bonus, or the 22 year old waitress aspiring actor.

I think we should thank Officious Wally for his superficial and cusrory observations and suggestions, because the 8 million people who live here would have never thought the same things.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 07:16 AM
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I love New York City but I don't think Wally's honest report warrants such sarcasm. Frankly, you all sound like a bunch of snobs.

Jim
Jimingso is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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While honesty is certainly an admirable trait, it does not guarantee quality!
PS: I am not a snob.
HowardR is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 07:36 AM
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>>>>I love New York City but I don't think Wally's honest report warrants such sarcasm. Frankly, you all sound like a bunch of snobs. >>>>

Well considering he was here for 4 days - two of which were spent in Sandy Hook, NJ - I think the sarcasm is warranted. And we are not snobs, just New Yorkers.
panecott is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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OMG, I have been called a snob. Wait until I tell my high school clique.

Wally's small observations based on a four day visit demonstrate a total lack of understanding of the city. This fellow thinks water towers are symbolic of a third world country (stated without knowing their purpose), Macy's smells, and honking (or hawking as he calls it) is a major problem.

Superficiality is the form and substance of snobbery as is imposing one's limited and personal standards.
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Aug 9th, 2009, 07:56 AM
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Thanks SF7307, your daughter must be considered a virtual outlaw in California. I know when I visit friends and realtives in your town and LA and jaywalk, you would have thought I molested a child.

Sorry I missed an other Wally suggestion:
I would recommend that the bicycle taxi's have an area to put bags and suitcases.

What about attaching toilets? That way you could flag down a toilet instead of a ride. That would solve two of your problems with one idea.
Aduchamp1 is offline  

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